How to make super easy garlic mashed potatoes in your InstantPot

I don’t know why,  but making mashed potatoes was always a weak point for me. They either came out like mush or paste. Being the stubborn person that I am, I didn’t give up trying and I have finally found a foolproof recipe that has already received rave reviews and will be gracing the table this Thanksgiving for sure!  I do have to give a shout out to my husband for the many years of being my official taste tester.

To make this incredibly easy recipe, gather together the following:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 7lbs of potatoes
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 6 C water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and wash your potatoes
  2. Slice potatoes (about 1/2″ thick) and place into your InstantPot
  3. Add water
  4. Place InstantPot cover on unit and lock in place, make sure the vent is closed. Set on High Pressure or Manual (depending on your unit) for 8 minutes.
  5. Immediately vent after timer cycle ends. When steam is finished, open cover and strain out the water.
  6. Add in butter, milk, sour cream, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix to desired consistency.

That’s it!! Clean up was a breeze and cooking this in any kitchen will be a snap. This typically takes me about 30 minutes from start to finish.

NOTES:

  • If you cut the recipe in half, the cook time will remain the same.
  • Make sure to immediately vent and strain after cooking or the potatoes will become overcooked and turn to mush.

 Buy your InstantPot on Amazon now!

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Camper Cooking with Kerry: Making bread without an oven

No oven? No problem! Follow these simple steps to make bread without an oven.

INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ cups Flour

1 cup hot milk

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)

1 1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp powdered milk

2 tsp salt

1 tsp butter

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE:

  1. The first thing you need to do is pour hot milk into a bowl.
  2. Pour in your sugar and whisk the milk and sugar together until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  3. When the milk has cooled a bit (you want it lukewarm), add the yeast to the milk and sugar, stirring just a bit. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to proof. You are looking for the yeast to look a bit frothy.
  4. Once your yeast is ready, add in flour.
  5. Add in powdered milk.
  6. Add in salt….make sure to do it in this order because if you add the salt directly to the yeast, you will kill the yeast.
  7. Now mix together all of the ingredients.
  8. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a flat surface. Gather the dough into a pile, place it on the table and start to knead. It will be a bit sticky at first but keep working it with your hands, forming it into a ball and then reshaping it. Knead with the heels of your hand, pushing away from you and folding back over. Continue this for about 10 minutes. You know when the dough is ready when is shiny, relatively smooth and springs back when you press into it.
  9. Now take the butter and knead it into your dough. Once it is worked in, set it aside for a minute and grease the bowl that you will use to let the dough rise. To grease the bowl, take some butter and spread it around the entire surface of a bowl. You want a bowl large enough to let the dough expand about twice its size.
  10. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside for 1 hour.
  11. While you are waiting for the dough’s first rise, prep the pan that you are going to cook the bread in by spreading butter on all interior sides and edges. Don’t skip this step as the bread will be very difficult to get out of the pan without doing this.
  12. Now that your dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and punch it down. Knead for again for a few minutes. You are aiming for a smooth dough. Pinch cracks and continue working until smooth.
  13. Place your dough into the prepared baking pan and press to fill in evenly.
  14. Cover again with a damp cloth and set aside for 1 hour to rise.
  15. After about 50 minutes, heat up your “oven”. Any pressure cooker that you can fit your loaf pan into will work. My All American Pressure Canner/Cooker is a bit of overkill and I actually recommend a smaller unit (something like this: Add salt to the bottom of the pan – this is mostly to absorb moisture during the cooking process. Place cutting rings or racks into the cooker to elevate the loaf pan during cooking. NOTE: remove your gasket and weights from your pressure cooker before using. Place cover on cooker and turn on heat to high.
  16. Unwrap your dough and brush the top with milk. The fat and sugars from the milk will help your bread develop a nice golden color during cooking.
  17. Place your bread into the cooker, cover and reduce to medium heat. At about 20 minutes, remove cover and brush bread with milk once more, cover and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes or until you achieve a nice golden color.
  18. Take your bread out of the cooker and place on a rack to cool.
  19. To help make your bread nice and soft, take a bit of butter and brush it on the top of the loaf.
  20. Once the pan has cooled just enough to handle with your hands, flip over and remove the bread. Wrap the bread in a damp cloth and set aside.

After about 2 hours, unwrap the bread, slice and enjoy!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As I mentioned earlier, my All American Pressure Canner/Cooker was a bit much – fine for a traditional cooktop/range, but I found that when using it in my camper, the cooktop and surrounding countertop became a bit hot – a potential hazard. Using a smaller pressure cooker that doesn’t extend past the sides of the cooktop is much safer. 

-Kerry

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Camper Cooking with Kerry: SPAM Musubis

After we posted our Bottomless Lakes trip video, someone commented they would like to see more “lifestyle” content focusing on how we use the inside of our Little Guy Max. Great idea!

In addition to the recipe below, Russ and I made this video as a “how to” make SPAM musubis from in the kitchen of the Little Guy Max. That’s right, I said SPAM

Russ grew up in Hawaii and I believe our marriage has lasted over 26 years at least in part, because I learned how to make musubis! Definitely something out of my comfort zone, this girl from Connecticut almost lost him the first time he saw me put butter and salt on rice instead of soy sauce.

family hawaiiThis recipe is one I have put together from my memories watching Russ’s Auntie make them when we lived on Oahu. I don’t know if I got it exactly like hers, but I did get the seal of approval from her when she came to our house for a visit years ago – whew!!

Thank you Auntie Margaret! (3rd from left, back row). This photo was taken on our family trip back to Hawaii-December 2016. 

brett hawaiiDuring our time living in Wisconsin, musubis also became a favorite for our son, Brett and his friends as they were growing up. They would all have the same initial hesitant reaction when we would first offer it to them, but after they had one, they were hooked.

Brett recently graduated from Beloit College (proud Mom moment!!) and has moved to Seattle. Brett, this video/post is for you!

The only real variation I make when making these in our RV versus a traditional kitchen is not using a rice cooker (which can be bulky and take up a lot of space) and instead, cooking the rice on the stovetop instead.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can SPAM (12 oz)
  • 1 1/2 C  Calrose rice (uncooked)
  • 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 1/2 C soy sauce (preferably Aloha Shoyu or Kikkoman)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 sheets of Nori

YIELD: 6 musubis (enough for 2-3 people)

EQUIPMENT: (list & links to actual products used)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. WASH YOUR RICE: pour 1 1/2 C of rice into pot and fill with water until rice is covered. Stir rice. Drain water. Do several times until water is relatively clear.
  2. SOAK RICE: Take your pot that contains the washed/drained rice and add 2 cups of water. Set aside to soak for 15 minutes.
  3. PREPARE “SAUCE”: In frying pan, whisk together  1/2 C light brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of ground ginger, 1/2 C soy sauce and 1 C of water. Heat and set to low simmer.Sauce
  4. ADD SPAM: Cut SPAM lengthwise into approximately 6 thick slices. Place SPAM into frying pan with other ingredients. SPAM is ready when the sauce is reduced to a light syrup consistency.
  5. COOK RICE: Set the pot that has the water and rice in it on the stove, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until all water is absorbed. If during cooking, water starts to boil over, just reduce the temperature a bit. When rice is finished, set aside (keep a cover on until ready to use).Rice when finished
  6. ASSEMBLE MUSUBI:
    1. Place a sheet of nori on top of the bamboo rolling mat.
    2. Put the outer part of the musubi press on top of the nori, placing it in the lower half of the sheet, leaving at least a half an inch extending out from the bottom.Nori on mat
    3. Place two slices of the SPAM side by side inside the musubi press.Spam in mold
    4. Add rice on top of the SPAM until the rice is just at the top of the musubi press.
    5. Take the handle part of the musubi press, place it on top of the rice and firmly press down.Press down rice
    6. While holding down the handle of the musubi press, slide up the outer shell.
    7. Take a knife and slide it between the musubi handle and rice. Set handle and knife aside.
    8. From bottom to top, slowly wrap the nori around the SPAM/rice brick, using the bamboo mat.
    9. You can either wet your fingers with some water and wet the ends to “seal” the nori wrapper OR simply rest musubi on the seam for a few minutes.
    10. Repeat steps 1-9 until all SPAM and rice have been used.
    11. Cut each musubi “brick” in half, serve and enjoy!cut musubis

One of the great benefits of having an RV is the ability to take your “home” wherever you go and especially for us, the ability to make our favorite comfort foods whenever we want. Cooking in an RV is not much different than in a traditional kitchen. I have found the real secret is to clean up as you go and you’ll find that even in the smallest spaces, you will have more than enough room to do everything you need to do.

-Kerry

Disclaimer: We are Amazon Affiliates and by clicking on our links and purchasing items we may receive a small percentage from the purchase price of your item (no additional cost to you). Funds go directly help support our channel – thank you so much for your support!